EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – On a conference call today with reporters who cover the Giants, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said he expects Jason Pierre-Paul to play Sunday in the season opener.
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"Oh, he'll be out there," Romo said.
There's a chance he will be, but JPP was not ready to make a guarantee regarding his availability.
"I'm still on track," the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end said. "By Friday, I should know if I'm playing or not.
"I've been getting better and better every day. I have to get my conditioning up. That's the main part on my end and my stance is back, but most of all I've been getting better every day."
Pierre-Paul missed the entire preseason because of the surgery he had on June 4 to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. He was removed from the physically unable to perform list on Aug. 26 and has increased his workload in practice. The next step is to play in a game, and the Giants have a big one in a nationally-televised opener against their NFC East rivals on Sunday night.
"I'm very anxious," said JPP, who practiced today on a limited basis. "Who won't be anxious? I'm just coming off back surgery and I just want to be out there. I haven't played a preseason game, so if I do play this Sunday night, this will be my first time actually getting out there and showing everybody what I got off the back surgery. So I'm very excited to see if I'm going to make it there Sunday night."
If he does play, Pierre-Paul wants a full workload.
"When it comes to games like this, I like to be a big factor in the game," he said. "I don't want to put myself out there and only do 20 snaps and those 20 snaps are not really what count to win the game. I'm not a third-down guy. I like to go out there and take all the snaps if I can."
Before he can worry about how many snaps he gets, Pierre-Paul must put on his uniform in AT&T Stadium.
"It'll be on me, definitely if I could play or not," he said. "It's all on Friday. Two days from now, you'll know my answer if I'm playing or not in the game."
TWO MINUTE DRILL*Wide receiver Victor Cruz, who missed the last two preseason games after suffering a heel contusion vs. Indianapolis on Aug. 18, reiterated he will be ready to face the Cowboys.
"It felt good," he said after a practice in which he was listed as limited. "I was out there just running. I can't think about it when I'm out there playing. I just have to go, because that's the way I play and that's the way I approach it every day. It's been feeling good. My heel has been feeling right and now I'm just worried about getting the timing down with Eli (Manning), getting my tempo back. We'll see how it goes from there."
*Three players on the Giants active roster did not practice today: Center David Baas (knee), tackle David Diehl (thumb) and tight end Adrien Robinson (foot).
In addition to Pierre-Paul and Cruz, two players were limited: Fullback Henry Hynoski (knee) and defensive end Damontre Moore (shoulder). Cornerback Jayron Hosley (ankle) practiced fully.
*Dallas defensive end Anthony Spencer didn't practice today and hasn't since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on July 25.
"I don't know Spencer's status yet," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. "He didn't do very much today. Hopefully, he does a little something tomorrow and we'll see how he does the rest of the week."
*The Giants are 4-0 in AT&T Stadium, formerly known as Cowboys Stadium.
"I haven't mentioned it (to the team)," coach Tom Coughlin said. "It's a new year, a new start, new teams. Hopefully, it's going to give us a little bit of a psychological advantage going down there. But it's going to have to happen on the field."
*The 2013 New York Giants Big Blue BBQ (formerly the team's annual Kickoff Luncheon) will be held on Monday, Sept. 16 at MetLife Stadium to benefit the Touchdown Fund Score for Kids, Cardiac and Cancer at Hackensack UMC Foundation. Former Giants linebacker Jessie Armstead will be honored as the Alumni Man of the Year. For more information please visit Giants.com or contact Sharon Scimeca at 551-996-3722